Michael Rustad's Memories

Fourth Grade

1958 - 1959

 

I was in Fourth Grade during the 1958-59 school yard. Thiswas the

Rustad family's second year living on our farm. Our closestneighbors were

Alfred and Clara Loer and their daughters Diane and Carolyn.In 1959, my

brother Tony and I formed a social club with the Loer girls,called the LARK

Club. LARK stood for Loer and Rustad Klub. Our missionwas to do good

deeds, but we mostly had roasted marshmallows and nectar.Clara Loer was

quite a good baker and always made us nectar from a Watkinsspecial formula.

The Watkins man would go from farm to farm selling waressuch as special

spices, soaps, and best of all nectar. Our LARK Klub brokeup over a dispute

over our mission.

 

The Loer girls were our best friends and we would frequentlygo on

bicycle trips to the Marion and Harris Easton farm. MarionEaston was a very

refined woman originally from Canada and was a registerednurse. Marion

would always greet us quite formally and stop what shewas doing to prepare

us a full tea. Marion was also a good baker and we frequentlyenjoyed bars

and other homemade goodies. We would then retire to theliving room and read

Classic Comic Books. I believe that I learned a love ofreading from my

hours reading classic comic books. One of my favorite classiccomics was

Lorna Doone. I can still remember the distinctive cover.Another favorite

was the Count of Monte Cristo. I would frequently do oddjobs for Marion's

husband Harris. When I turned 13, I worked as Harris' hiredman. My pay

was $3 a day and wonderful meals prepared by Marion.

 

In the 1958-59 school year, the third and fourth gradeswere

together. Our combined class was taught by Minnie Hylland.Ralph Giffen,

Clara Twamley, Linda Symington, Judy Burton, Dan Ingeman,Becky Clow,

Marlys Diamond, Ethel Finney, Mary Ann Bernath, Leslie Turner, Cheryl

Twamley, Linda Stewart, Lois Ward, Carolyn Wiese, Jan Armstrong, Renae

Jerome, Mike Rustad, Peter Tri, Earl Hunt, Jim Ingeman, Carolyn Loer, Bob

Hunt, Mary Boatz, Cynthia Baldwin, Ron Baldwin, Jerry Olsonawski, Dean

Ritter, John Finney, Jim Gatheridge, Leonard Jerome, Allan Cleem, Jay Hoglin,

Randy Reese, Dennis Olsonawski, Larry Olsonawski and Sharry Dieter werethe

members of the combined class in Humboldt. Eliza Moore taught the thirdand

fourth graders at St. Vincent. Virginia Seed, Diane Jerde, Carl Seed, Wanda

Hosch, David Twamley, Betty Short, Jo Ellyn Clow, Linda Pearson, Rhoda

Symington, Gary Webster, Paul Symington, John Wilkie and Martha Carlson

were all in the St. Vincent combined group.

 

My brother Tony was in the combined 1st and 2d grade classtaught by

Mabel Evers. Ron Gatheridge, Bill Ash, Emily Hahn, LindaDiamond, Diane

Giffen, Beth Boatz, Margo Baldwin, Becky Stewart, Dan Twamley,Roger

Dexter, Lois Armstrong, Lee Jerome, Layne Turner, June Webster, Steven Hahn,
Jerry Bernath, Ralph Babock, Cynthia Olsonawski, Dan Finney, Jim Wiese,

Kathleen Finney, Tony Rustad, Craig Wiese, Raymond Hunt, John Bergh, Scott

Clow, Bradley Hemmes and Delores Dimaond were in Mrs. Evers' class.

 

The Homecoming King for 1959 was Ronald Clow and the Homecoming

Queen was Louise Finney. Louise's attendants were Mary Baldwin, Mary Ryan,

Linda Easter, Carol Clow Betty Clow Peggy Feick, Michelle Baldwin, and

Sandra Finney. Danny Finney and Linda Stewart were the crown bearers.

Co-Captain of the football team Willis Roberts had the privilege of crowningthe

King and Queen.

 

The Third and Fourth Grade class had a Halloween Partyin which the

boy and girl with the best costume would be crowned Kingand Queen of

Halloween. I was crowned King and I was dressed as a hobo.I have no

present memory of who was crowned Queen. The Fourth Gradewas one of my

favorite years in school. My Dad and I became very interestedin hockey. In

those days, we could only get good reception from threestations: KCND in

Pembina which was an ABC affiliate and two Canadian stations,one of which

was a CBC affiliate and another station that was an independentstation. I

did not realize that there was an NBC or CBS and laterin life was always

puzzled when people would refer to sit coms and other programsfrom those

networks.

 

My Dad and I never missed Hockey Night in Canada. Our teamwas the

Toronto Maple Leafs and we always rooted against the dreadedMontreal

Canadians. We would sit in front of our black and whitetelevision and enjoy

our hockey games. I did not realize that all televisionsets did not have

lots of snow flurries until much later in life. The receptionwas not very

good because we were in such a remote part of Minnesota.

 

The Montreal Canadians were a hockey dynasty in late 1950sand early

1960s headed by the Richard brothers and the great JohnBeuvlieuv. (msp).

Maurice Richard was a leading scorer nicknamed the "Rocket."His brother was

dubbed the "Pocket." The Canadians had speedand strength and often beat our

Maple Leaves. The speediest skater was Yvonne Cornier.In 1986, I saw

Cornier in an Old Timers Game at the Boston Garden andhe was still the fast

skater on the Ice. We would often have ice hockey gameswith our primitive

equipment. We had a skating rink at the school and playedduring recess.

Hockey was a major recreational activity for us. I rememberDad often

discussed hockey games with Bill Johnson, later the Mayorof Humboldt.

Bill's team was the Chicago Black Hawks.

 

Hockey sometimes spilled over into school. I invented anindoor

hockey game called "Pocket-Rocket" which wasplayed with sliding cards. It

was a fast-paced game and we kept records of our recordsmuch of the Winter

of 1959. We played hockey whenever we could. I was nevera good skater and

was relegated to the nets. I did not have a good goaliestick, but

improvised. I used a curved show shovel which proved quiteadequate for the

task. The curved end was a deterrent to anyone trying aslap shot. The

best hockey player in elementary school was Jay Hoglinby far. Jay was a

natural skater and very speedy. He had breakaway speedand left the rest of

us sprawling on the ice. He would frequently skate formiles on the Red

River Valley. Humboldt-St. Vincent did not have a highschool hockey team

and it is a shame. Jay had both size and speed and wouldhave been a great

defenseman.

 

Virgil Bockwitz must have felt sorry for all of the townhockey

players playing under sub-zero conditions. He flooded oneof his large sheds

which became an ideal indoor rink. We soon had a greatplace to play hockey.

We played the sport without pads and sometimes paid theprice when we were

checked into the poles. There were two roles of poles whichwe skated around

on that rink. Sometimes we would challenge the kids fromPembina to a hockey

game. The Pembina kids had a much better rink and evenhad a warming room.

 

In another Red River Valley Memory, I mentioned that itwas the fourth

grade when we formed our Humboldt Pups basketball team.We made jerseys

out of white t-shirts and sketched numbers with shoe polish. The Pups werea

good team and frequently challenged and beat the fifthand sixth grade teams.

It was the nucleus of the Pups team that won the CountyBasketball

Tournament held when we were Fifth Graders.

 

One of the problems that I had in managing the Pups wasthe conduct

of some of our student/players. Mrs. Hylland was a strictdisciplinarian and

if a student committed three infractions before noon, theywere detained over

the noon hour until they wrote fifty times, "I willobey the rules and

regulations of the classroom. The offenses for which youcould be

sanctioned including talking, walking, fidgeting and wiggling.Of course, it

was a capital offense to leave the room without permission.I was a very

social fourth grader and frequently was detained by Mrs.Hylland as were

fellow players Dan Ingeman, Ron Baldwin, Ralph Giffen,Dean Ritter, Glenn

Odberg, and Earl Hunt.

 

As I recall, Earl Hunt would frequently be detained forwiggling or

fidgeting. My usual offense was talking. Earl was not theonly player

frequently detained. We sometimes had up to 3 players detainedfor the noon

hour and had to begin games with less than five men onthe field. To solve

this problem, I organized a bank where we would stockpilethe standard form

pleading: "I will obey the rules and regulations ofour classroom. I had

my fellow players and the Humboldt Pup Cheerleaders stockpilethese

pleadings. Whenever one of us were detained by Mrs. Hylland,they would

request a completed form from me.

 

Many days Mrs. Hylland would eat her lunch with the otherteachers

and not observe closely whether her detainees were followingher strict

orders. I had an extensive stockpile of pleadings. At onepoint, I had over

20,000 lines of "I will obey the rules and regulationsof our classroom."

We were finally caught when one of my classmates suggestedusing carbon

paper. It was greed that ultimately exposed our scam.

 

I have written in other memories about the football teamof 1959 and

the homecoming parade. The Homecoming Parades at Humboldt-St.Vincent

were lots fun. Each class from grades 7th through 12thwould build a float.

As I recall, each float had a hayrack with a shell of chickenwire which was

stuffed with various colors of Kleenex. Each class wouldhave some profound

slogans such as: "Blast the Wolves" or HuskiesSteamroll the Wolves.

 

I looked up to the basketball and football players. I attended

church at St. Anne's Catholic Church in St. Vincent andadmired the

letterman's jackets worn by Johnny Cleem, Larry Turner,Ed Hughes, Jim Tri,

and Danny Hughes who proudly wore their jackets to Church.When you became

a Letterman, you could purchase a purple and white jacket. The arms were

leather with the year of graduation on the upper sleeve.Each Letterman

received an H which they could sew to their jacket alongwith their name.

They were issued little gold basketballs, footballs oremblems for track. I

think that other fourth grader boys had a similar aspirationto become

lettermen some day.1>leather with the year of graduation on the upper sleeve.Each Letterman

received an H which they could sew to their jacket alongwith their name.

They were issued little gold basketballs, footballs oremblems for track. I

think that other fourth grader boys had a similar aspirationto become

lettermen some day.